Robert Lester to Frederick Chesson, 24 November 1881, C140/92

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Lester, Robert








Cape Colony

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Bodleian Libraries

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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C140-92


Cradock, Cape of Good Hope
24th November 1881

F.W. Chesson Esq
Ab. Proc. Society
17 King Wms Street
Charing Cross, London, W.C.

Dear Sir,

There has never been a time when it was more necessary for your Society to be up and doing than the present. And as you have invited me to continue my correspondence with you, I do so. And now enclose you an article from ‘De Patriot’ the Cape Dutch newspaper, from this you will see that as far as anything can be certain, that has not yet actually taken place, Revolutions, and that at no distant date is sure in this Colony. In which the English and the Natives (that is if the natives have sense enough to see their interests) will be opposed to the Dutch Boers, who are now so elated at the success of the Transvaal affair that in their extreme ignorance for few of them can even read or write, they openly aim at retaking the Cape and all South Africa and as they say enslaving the natives, and driving the loyal English into the sea. It is the influence of those men in the Cape Parliament that has even now led to the shameful abandonment to their fate of the unfortunate loyal Basutos, and they would now continue their wretched work. The first step onwards is their miserable but too successful ‘Africander Bond’ which they have established far and wide, and which is a sort of secret society bound together with a view to attain their objects, for fear that by immigration the English should presently outnumber and defeat their objects. They now propose through ‘the Bond’ to get none but Dutch returned to the Cape Parliament, then to prevent immigration by the repeal of the immigration act. After which revolution and the reintroduction of slavery at the Cape with all its horrors, these horrors as formerly practiced by the Dutch here are too horrible to relate, they have even been known to force a native into an oven, and bake him alive for not working, or not working to their satisfaction. I hope and trust therefore that your useful and powerful society will be up and active before it is too late.

… remain
Dear Sir
Yours very truly
Robert Lester
Barrister at Law